Lerk

Regular Member
  • Content Count

    568
  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

    1

Lerk last won the day on June 2 2016

Lerk had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

348 Excellent

About Lerk

  • Rank
    Skeptic
  • Birthday 08/18/1960

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Houston, Texas
  • Interests
    science, energy
  • More About Me
    I am a computer programmer, married over 35 years, with two grown children. My wife's father was a minister, and our younger son is a minister. My older son, fortunately, discovered the truth awhile back. The real truth, not the "capital 'T' Truth".

    Still attending church weekly. I was actually outed last year, but knowing how badly that was going to go, I jumped back into the closet. That has turned out to be pretty comfortable because people don't expect anything from me now, religiously speaking.

    I've explained to my wife how I came to understand that it was all mythology, but she really doesn't want to believe it, and I still say a prayer with her at dinner! But we're starting to skip that more often.

    In some ways, Christianity has kept my life and my family stable, and I appreciate the regular moral training about being a responsible citizen and family member, and about caring for others. I don't know that, without the "you have to be there every week" attitude, I would ever have accepted that training and my life may not be as good as it is. Then again, my life could easily have been better, and churches certainly don't have a monopoly on morality. (In fact, sometimes they're just downright immoral.)

    On the other hand, I wish I had all of those Sundays back to spend with my family doing things that would have kept us closer. I can't really blame religion for a lack of recreation in my life, as many 3-time-a-week Christians do, in fact, spend more time in recreation with their families than I did. My problem may just be the fact that I was just too "responsible", and I don't know whether religion did that, or if I was just born that way. (I know I have always tried to do what was expected of me, even as a child, so it may just be my neurological makeup.)

    Regardless, I wish I had the Sundays back, and that all of that money given to the church could have been used for enjoying life with my family.

    Regarding how I came to realize that Jehovah is a myth like all other gods, it was in church, and I was 52 years old, when the preacher read a couple of verses of Genesis 3. Having turned there I read the entire chapter and realized, for the first time, that there was no Satan in the chapter. It was an ordinary snake! I knew I didn't believe it as written, and that neither did anyone else present. We had, all of our lives, believed that Satan had used the serpent, yet the Bible said nothing of the kind. There's not a single person in that church, not a single person I know, who believes Genesis chapter 3, yet nearly everyone says it is true.

Previous Fields

  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
    No

Recent Profile Visitors

1,445 profile views
  1. Lerk

    Greetings!

    Is that another way of saying “I know you are, but what am I?”
  2. Lerk

    Verses that bug you in the bible

    That’s about the only thing I appreciated about the Church of Christ. They insisted that we were not told to tithe. It’s “give as you are prospered.” You get to decide how much is appropriate.
  3. Lerk

    Things Fundies Say On Facebook

    21. No one has ever said, "If only I had taken a drink, things wouldn't have gotten out of control." That’s probably not true. One drink is known to reduce stress. I remember a study back in the 80s (when I was a tee-totaler) that showed that men who had a beer on the way home from work were less likely to have an accident than those who didn’t. Why? They were less stressed! Unfortunately I haven’t been able to find it online anywhere. Car and Driver magazine has twice done tests with their writers and other employees (about 30 years apart) intended to show the effects of drinking and driving. Each driver picks their drink (wine, beer, spirits). They set a baseline time in a course with cones having practiced some, then doing it first before drinking. Then they have a drink (equivalent of one oz. of alcohol, regardless of type) and wait their turn, have their BAC checked, drive the course again, etc, until they’re legally drunk (or maybe beyond that). Both times this experiment was run, everyone did better after one drink than with none. Performance with two drinks was about the same as with one. After that it was all downhill. I can’t find it on their website, but the 1978 test is referenced here. 46. I should never look to the glass or bottle for joy, which can only be found in the Lord Jesus Christ. Then you should never have dessert or tell a joke, either. Clearly those things can’t bring you joy.
  4. Lerk

    open question to all - can you help?

    It’s had 2000 years to evolve to be that way!
  5. Lerk

    Bad atheists ruining good atheists' lives

    Christianity is all about authority, so it’s definitely going to lead to some of that.
  6. Lerk

    An Athiest Too Late.

    I'm so very sorry about your struggles. As far as anyone knows, things won't repeat. It's never happened before, so there's no reason to think it will now. Religion will seriously mess people up. I don't think religion messed me up much, but I was still really depressed in my late teens. It's just a really hard time of life for many of us! I hope you find some real friends on this site, and also in real life. And please take some hope from the fact that part of your struggle stems from the fact that you really are at a tough age, and that as you get older things should get better, to some extent, by themselves. I know you've not found any help from counselors, but have you tried a psychiatrist? My wife could not live without her SSRIs, and the appropriate medicine may really change your life for the better. Mental health is physical health. Your brain is an organ as much as your heart and liver. If you were diabetic, you'd take insulin. If you had high blood pressure, you'd take something for that. If something is available for your mental health, take advantage of it.
  7. Lerk

    Bad atheists ruining good atheists' lives

    I try very hard not to discuss it with my wife, but she makes it difficult. The other day she asked me if I knew about "the 100 prophecies" (meaning a particular list of prophecies that were supposedly fulfilled by Jesus). I really want to suggest that she read Isaiah 7 and 8 and tell me whether that seems to be about a future messiah. (It isn't! The "sign" of a child being born that Isaiah speaks to Ahaz of is fulfilled right there in the context!) As much as I would love for her to be deconverted, she becomes distraught when she finds reason to doubt, so I generally refuse to engage.
  8. I've listened to episode 1 and most of episode 2. Good stuff!
  9. Lerk

    Greetings!

    Hi, William. There are places on this site where you're welcome to debate. However, you'll very quickly find that the people here are very well educated about Christianity and the Bible. "God bless." No better way to start a relationship with people than by being passive-aggressive! Something tells me you're not going to last long. EDIT: You know, usually when people show up here they try to give the impression that they're sincere. You've come right out and told us that you're an asshole. I suspect that you were an asshole atheist, too, so I'm really glad you're a Christian now.
  10. Lerk

    Maybe Atheist

    Hi, Mandy. Welcome! You can definitely be atheist and agnostic at the same time. "Godless Mom" has a good blog post about it here. I say I am atheist because I'm quite confident that every god people have ever believed in is the product of speculation, not revelation. I might call myself agnostic, because I can't be 100% sure there are no such things as gods. But having said that, I see no reason to believe that any sorts of minds without physical bodies exist, so at this point I'm about ready to quit calling myself agnostic.
  11. Lerk

    CAN WE RESTORE A SENSE OF COMMUNITY?

    I think part of that is because church replaced the physical community in the U.S. Part of it may be because of our mobility. At one time, you went to church with your neighbors, and that did indeed facilitate your seeing and speaking with them at least every week. Now you find a church in the denomination you grew up in and drive 15-20 minutes to get there, and in our case not a single person at that church lives in our neighborhood. (I'm a closet atheist and still go to church a lot.) Many do live within a 10-minute drive, but we only go to their houses on special occasions. When I was young, and a believer, we used to have people over on Sunday night (or Friday night) just to sing! When we had young children (in the mid-80s to early-90s) my wife spent time with other ladies at church, and went with them to visit some of the older ladies during the day. Now that we're among the group you might consider "older," the younger women with children get together with each other, but they don't go visiting the older women. There are still couples our age who go to eat every Sunday night after church, and some who eat lunch together. We've never had a meal with our neighbors since moving 3 1/2 years ago, and where we lived for 13 years before that, we ate with our neighbors exactly twice, the second time being the week we moved away. (Edit to say that my wife did occasionally have lunch with a woman across the street.) I guess it's a mixed bag as far as associating with church members outside of assembly... you get out of it what you put into it. One of my sons actually has friends from his community! He and his wife don't (or rarely) go to church, but they spend more time with people than we do. Perhaps if we didn't have air conditioned houses, we'd spend more time outdoors getting to know people in our real community. But I'm not giving up my a/c! It gets turned on in January in Houston on occasion!
  12. Welcome aboard! Is the podcast available on Stitcher? Edit: I get a "502 Bad Gateway" error on the website. Edit again: I found you on podbean. I think I may switch to that from Stitcher.
  13. Back in the early 2000s I was giving $150/week to my church, which was almost exactly the amount I was going in the hole every week. I chose that amount at some point based on my income, and the feeling that I hadn't really ever contributed as much as perhaps I should have. It was an expensive time in my life, as we had just bought a more expensive house, and the first of my two kids started driving. (Car insurance for 16 year old boys is expensive!) I did this through both sons' high school years and into their college years (which were even more expensive!). I didn't necessarily believe that I would somehow get back more than I put in, but I did believe when I started that I would at least get my money back. NOPE! The only debt I have now is a house note and car notes, but I came just shy of $100,000 of credit card debt before I reversed the problem. It took a cash-out refi on the house and a big pay increase at work (which, at the time, I stupidly credited to the god instead of to the good people who took care of me).
  14. Lerk

    Verses that bug you in the bible

    They'll tell you that "fear" in the King James means "respect" today. I think that's backwards, though. In the 1611 King James "fear" wasn't that different than "fear" today. For the most part, people really feared the lords and other property owners. There was no freedom. You had to always be afraid of these people because your life depended upon it. Likewise, they believed you had to be afraid of the god. In fact, the Bible concept of the god Yahweh/Jehovah/The LORD is like one of the property lords of the old days. Yahweh is modeled after the kings and lords of those ancient days. It says right in the text that he's jealous!
  15. Lerk

    Who deconverted you?

    I'm going to go with Dark Bishop here. Of course, it had to have a start. I had published a religious "E-Zine" on GeoCities back in the early days of the World Wide Web. The 'zine was compiled by two preachers who had others write articles for it each month. The WWW was used very early as a way of "spreading the Gospel" and I, sadly, was a part of it. That was long before Google. At some point when I began to question the specific doctrines my church taught (like the idea that taking one sip of alcohol is a sin) the Internet proved to be a very quick way to find information. (In those days, I was using MetaCrawler as a search engine, which would submit your query to multiple search engines.) The history of Welch's Grape Juice and the "Temperance Movement" is interesting! But mostly I used the Internet to help me refine the doctrine that I already believed. It was one morning in church when I randomly noticed there was no "Satan" in the story of Eve and the Serpent (Genesis 3) that I set out on my path to deconversion. Then, Google really became the oracle I needed. The next day I gave up fundamentalism, and within a month I was an atheist. Had it not been for the Internet I might have spent hours and hours in the local library, I suppose, but I probably wouldn't have bothered. So thanks to the availability of Google, I know the truth and the truth has set me free.